132: Once There Was A Mother Camel

This is the story of the straw that broke the mother camel’s back.


Occasionally, you reach a breaking point. My most recent collapse occurred just today moments after my last class.

At 2:15, I was erasing the white board and waving “Goodbye” to my final round of students when the display on my classroom phone caught my eye. I had missed three messages. This was surprising, as our phones are used so rarely.

Honestly, my first inclination was to leave the messages for Monday, but instead I dropped the straw and pushed “play.”

The insistent woman leaving me messages over the last two days was the scheduler from the breast center. (You see, after my heart check on Wednesday, I meandered by the Walk-In Breast Center in one of the hospital’s corridors. Since I still had the recent mammogram script in my purse from my December doctor visit, I thought…”Why not get this one over with too?”)

Apparently she needed to get in touch with me to schedule a re-check because Wednesday’s mammogram had “shown an area which requires additional imaging.”

It’s Friday. It’s 2:30.

I scrambled to my cell phone, dialed the number as quickly as I could and tried to get through to someone.

The dazed and confused expression on my face was correctly read by my friend K, and we stood together in the hallway while my appointment was made for next Wednesday. Hanging up, I filled K in on what had stolen the life out of the usual Friday afternoon smiles. And that is when my sweet friend sat in my room and gave me a little reality check…This “recheck” call has happened to her too…it happens all the time to women…it’s going to be nothing…we throw ourselves into a tizzy too quickly…it’s better that they look carefully at everything…and, again – Chances are, it’s nothing.

She’s right.

We headed back to our Friday afternoon routines, and I began to water my plants. As I was staring out the window, probably over watering my plump aloe vera – the flood gates broke… And I mean really broke. It was a double-fisted, tissue-grabbing sob.

Deep down, I know what caused the niagara. It wasn’t worry about the mammogram, it wasn’t worry about the heart monitor waiting for me at home, and it wasn’t worry related to the fact that M was coming home in a few hours…It was just all those things together – I needed a good cry. (That mission was certainly accomplished today.)

I have always been a “glass is half-full” kind of girl. And today, I still feel that way. My zen friend K is probably correct – the mammogram will be fine. And my sweet husband B is probably correct, too – my heart thing will most likely turn out to be fine too.

And M, I’m going to make sure that he is better than fine.


3 thoughts on “132: Once There Was A Mother Camel

  1. your health is very important to so many. even as you spend so much time and thought and energy helping/thinking about/worrying about/trying to figure out your son, you need to spend time on just you. meditate daily, walk daily, laugh daily and focus on you. i am sure all will be fine with your follow-ups as to the breast re exam and the heart monitor – just physical manifestations of your worry and angst. it is so hard to be all things at once isn’t it? be mindful of all you can control and turn over to God and others all you cannot. YOU are such light and beauty and grace and love. we ALL want you to be well and healthy during this long journey of motherhood.

  2. Jen, I, too, am in that category that required an “extra check”….not one, but two. And all was fine. K is right…better to be “overchecked” than “undechecked”….you will be “more than fine”, also, I just feel it in my “overly checked” chest.

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